Q. How to choose a flooring installer?
A. Don't choose an installer on the lowest price alone. I am amazed on the amount of phone calls I receive wanting to know if we carry a particular brand and what is our cost per square foot. They don't inquire as to whom we are, how long we have been in business or request references. They don't ask whether we have a showroom or use subcontractors. In our world there is a familiar saying that holds true for wood flooring as well - you will get what you pay for. The cost should be a part of making your decision, but not the whole reason. In today's economy, we do realize the need to spend appropriately, but unbelievable deals rarely are.
Referrals from past customers are a good start. If the referring customer was happy with the product and service, they will pass it on to someone who is looking for a good installation company. But it should not stop there. You need to make sure whomever you choose has an active license from the Registrar of Contractors and they are in good standing. You can check out a company on their site; see if their license is current and if they had any complaints against them and what the disposition was.
A contractor with just a business card does not mean they are reputable; anyone can print up business cards. Printers are not required to check validity. You should ask to check references with a name and phone number. Check more than one reference. Visit their showroom. Do they have a main showroom or are they utilizing someone else's showroom as their main location. You truly don't want someone who is just working out of the back of their vehicle. What does their vehicle look like? Was the person at the showroom knowledgeable regarding hardwood flooring? Were all of your questions answered to help you make the best decision? Were you pressured to make a decision on a type of flooring you did not want? Is it cared for? Do they have signage and license number on their vehicle? Inquire as to how long they have been in business. How much actual installation experience do they have?
Just because someone owns a hardwood flooring company does not equate to them having actual experience in laying hardwood flooring. They could just rely on their installers for that. How much hardwood flooring/installation experience does the person who did your bid have? Someone who has laid one or two laminate/engineered floors and have gone out on their own to install solid hardwood has nowhere near the experience that would qualify him for that type of job. You should inquire if they subcontract out any of their work and how much? Saying they have installers does not mean those installers are actual employees of their company. They could very well have a list of subcontractors that they utilize to see who is available to do the job. It is very much like Russian roulette-you can get a great installer or you could suffer the consequences of a poor installation.
ENMAR Hardwood Flooring, Inc. does not subcontract out any of our work. We have our own employees that work only for us. We put a lot of time and money into our employees for training and education to help keep abreast of any changes in our industry. We have a very high benchmark for quality of employees and work they perform. We take great pride in our customer wervice and problem resolution. The floors we install are our signature, no matter how big or small the project was. The floors, unlike a painting, cannot be folded up and put away if you don't like it. Our promise is absolute Customer Satisfaction.